Your body has a dependence on nicotine. When your nicotine level drops you begin to feel edgy until you can slip outside and light up. Nicotine is a stimulant (although you might mistakenly believe it relaxes you).
If you stop smoking cold turkey it will take 3 to 4 days for all the nicotine to be flushed out of your body.
If you decide to use patches or other products like gum or lozenges, you will experience a dramatic decrease in cravings to smoke, but you still have to address the behavioral and psychological aspects of smoking.
When you have changed your old behaviors, and when you begin to see yourself as a nonsmoker you'll still have to flush nicotine out of your body for 3 to 4 days.
The decision to stop smoking cold turkey or by using nicotine products is personal and depends on how you feel most comfortable.
When you quit
You may notice that you cough much more right after you quit. Don't be alarmed as your lungs are just cleaning themselves. You'll also experience late afternoon hunger and drowziness. This is thought to happen because your bloodsugar has dropped in the absence of nicotine. Eating fruit or drinking fruit juice will get your bloodsugar back up, and you'll start feeling better.
Be careful that you don't substitute sugary or salty foods for cigarettes. You want to break the hand-to-mouth muscle memory associated with smoking
What to do
Before you quit, decide if you will replace cigarettes with carrot sticks, cinnimon sticks, toothpicks, fruit or other things to help you maintain your weight and change your hand-to-mouth intake.
If you're using patches or other nicotine product, make sure you fully understand the directions and be sure to focus on your behavioral and psychological changes while the patch helps hold cravings at bay.
Be prepared to endure some physical discomfort as you break the physical dependence on smoking. The recovery symptoms are temporary and they will end. Every ex-smoker agrees that whatever turmoil you face at the beginning is worth it.
Preparation is the key to becoming a lasting nonsmoker. Click Next to learn how to make behavioral changes.
Becoming a nonsmoker just got a whole lot easier!